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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Linah Chebii Kilimo Abandons Kalonzo To Support Kibaki's Re-election Bid

The defection of Marakwet East MP and former Migration cabinet minister Linah Chebii Kilimo from ODM-Kenya to the Mwai Kibaki re-election camp today is significant in that it gives us a peek into the thinking that has been going on in the numerous meetings the Kalenjin community have been having over the last few days.

The meetings are part of the tribal groupings that have been coming together to map out strategy for the forthcoming polls and mainly to position communities to reap maximum. Until now the attractive Mrs Kilimo who "escaped the circumcision knife" by a whisker, has been a staunch supporter of Kalonzo Musyoka's ODM. She was even at the forefront of the demonstration to Sheria House that sent shivers down the spine of government and caused them to release the registration certificate pronto. But alas the sacrifice in the end did not amount to much because that is the registration certificate that Kalonzo Musyoka took off with together with his "Mtu wa mkono" Daniel Maanzo. In fact Mrs Kilimo sacrificed much more than risking police brutality in a demonstration because she sacrificed her plum cabinet post by supporting Raila Odinga and LDP in the bitter struggle over another paper called a memorandum of understanding that President Kibaki is said to have agreed to and signed. So when all the renegade cabinet members were being dismissed, Mrs Kilimo was on the list of those shown the door. But I digress.

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It is now very clear that most of Rift Valley will support President Kibaki's re-election bid. That seems to be their game plan for now. I say for now because experienced analysts will tell you that usually when elections are these close the situation is extremely fluid and can change in a matter of hours. To be honest this Rift Valley proposed move, surprises me a little because the signs were clearly pointing to Kanu (the party that a vast majority of senior Kalenjin politicians belong to) supporting a presidential candidate other than Kibaki. It could suggest that Mrs Kilimo and the Rift Valley politicians have some information that that the rest of us do not have, because the last time I checked, the province was deeply divided between ODM and propping up Kanu to field it's own presidential candidate. The shidt to Kibaki is something very new.

An interesting aside is that Mrs Kilimo does not look too fit for a grueling campaign just now since she seems to have put on a considerable amount of extra weight. She needs to a gym for aerobics sessions pronto.

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1 comment:

Amadi said...

Chris,

Was Kilimo ODM or ODM-Kenya?

Both KBC online(see http://www.kbc.co.ke/story.asp?ID=44554) and Standard(http://www.eastandard.net/electionplatform/?id=1143973378) says she was alligned to ODM-Kenya of Kalonzo Musyoka.

Although Nation(http://allafrica.com/stories/200708221105.html) says she quit ODM but its report of the fallout between Kilimo and Raila long before the launch of ODM contradict this.

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